Rating: 3.5/5 – A fun and witty all-ages Batman story.
This isn’t your usual modern day grim and gritty Batman comic book. You’d have to try not to have fun reading this digital comic. Batman and Robin try to stop one crime by the Riddler, only to be roped into yet another crime by False Face. False Face has to be one of creepier bad guys from the 1960’s Batman series from ABC. He would go around with just a cheap plastic mask of a man’s face. That villain freaked me out a little as a kid when I watched the show as reruns. But he could also wear a perfect disguise and impersonate those people almost as well. Batman could always seem to tell who False Face was of course.
This digital comic is more enjoyable if you have already watched most episodes of the Batman TV show. Jeff Parker has to have studied that show in order to write this comic series. Although you don’t have to have seen the show at all to understand what’s going on. Parker writes a fairly straight forward story in issues 19 and 20. There are a couple of small twists that are really fun and again remind me of the television show. That’s the beauty of these comics, that they’re easy to follow and understand for anybody. The regular Batman comic book series may require a little more prior knowledge to understand the story. Tom Peyer’s story about the Joker’s henchman in issue 21 has a bit of a political agenda. It’s still funny and who can’t feel for a super villain’s henchman. They always get the worse treatment but don’t seem to mind.
The artwork by by Christopher Jones in issues 19 and 20 is very well done. It has a “Saturday Morning Cartoon” feel to it that fits the series and makes it relatable. Batman and Robin look enough like the actors Adam West and Burt Ward but without being straight-up photo traced. The art by Derec Donovan in issue 21 is also well done with some hysterical facial expressions. Some of the digital transitions when you swipe may be unnecessary. Why does the color of a character simply change from red to blue for example. Yes, it’s fun to swipe and get a slight animation but I wonder if it’s always serving the story. The way these “guided view native comics” work is still being worked out by the artists in many ways. It may have been better to get all the story in one regular digital comic, instead of breaking it up for the three digital comic series. This is a digital first series with a print comic book issue to be released in January 2014. Issues 19 to 21 of the digital comic will all be released in one print comic book of issue #7. It may be a personal preference, but I recommend you read this in print. In any format it’s still worth your time. Read it and you’ll have many laughs along the way.
Reviewed by: Ian Gowan – firstname.lastname@example.org
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